Yep, you read that right. I have SEVEN savings accounts. Does that sound crazy? A few years ago, I probably would have thought so, too. But hear me out.
I didn’t open my first savings account until I was 25. Looking back, that seems incredibly late. Granted, I was young and single, but I had a decent job and not too many expenses. Living paycheck to paycheck just seemed like the thing to do as a young woman living in New York City.
It wasn’t until I met my now-husband and was thinking about settling down that planning for the future even crossed my mind…and by future I mainly meant our wedding and honeymoon. Don’t even get my started on our retirement accounts (which are completely separate from these)…
Fast forward twelve years, and I’m a savings account junkie. So, what are all those accounts for?
(1) Emergency Fund: When you say the word “emergency,” most people think of major disasters, as in emergency surgery. But little “emergencies” pop up ALL. THE. TIME. What if your car breaks down? What if one of your appliances decides to die on you? What if you happen upon a major shoe sale? Okay, that last one’s not an emergency, but you get it. Things come up. I’d say a good starting point for this is $500. We have one month’s rent saved just in case.
(2) Uncle Sam Fund (AKA Taxes): While my husband does have a steady job and pay check, he also freelances quite a bit. That means come tax season, we almost always owe the government a little something. One year, that little something was over $8,000, and we were not ready for it. Panic immediately set in; we even considered dipping into our retirement (a HUGE no-no). As a result of the lesson learned, we set up this account so we can set aside a percentage of his un-taxed income to avoid ever dealing with that kind of blow again.
(3) Car Fund: We’ve had our little jalopy (who we affectionately names A.C. Slater) for a little over five year now. However, it’s a 2001 model that we literally drove across the country. HOWEVER, it’s completely paid off, so we’re holding on to it for dear life. Realistically Slater doesn’t have a lot of time left though. We’re saving as much as we can between now and when he finally gives up to hopefully put a sizable down payment up for our next car.
(4) House Fund: Oh, the house fund… Truthfully, provided we’re relatively near some kind of park or community outdoor space, I think I could be content living in a rented apartment forever. But more and more, the thought of owning our own place is becoming more appealing (darn you, HGTV!). Our goal is to move before Miles starts kindergarten, which gives us just over a year to save…a lot.
(5) Vacation Fund: Right now, this is mainly a save-up-for-Christmas-flights-and-gifts fund. Flying four of us to Kansas City alone amounts to over $1,000. Tack on another $1,000 for gifts, plus Miles’ birthday which is around the same time, and we’re looking at a pretty large sum that we need to have, probably by November. Once it’s cleared out, we’ll start over, for NEXT Christmas, as well as whatever family vacation we decide to take next year. (Alaska was our big one this year!)
(6) Ladies Weekend Fund: ICYMI, my friends and I started this amazing tradition of an annual girls’ weekend. Earlier this year, we visited Orlando. Early next year, we have our sights set on Las Vegas. And 2018 will (hopefully) take us to London. I don’t totally think it’s fair to spend a lot of joint money on a solo trip, so I do my part by saving a portion of my allowance (yes, my husband and I each get a weekly allowance to spend on whatever we want) for these annual getaways.
(7) Disney Fund: While our regular trips to Disney are a family affair, I always want them to be AMAZING. So, I also squirrel away a little part of my allowance into my very own Disney fund. I like to stay on-property and go to character meals and not worry about spending whatever on souvenirs. And if that means saving a few extra dollars a week for the years between those trips, I’m willing to do that.
The main question I get is, why all the separate accounts? Why not just save all your money in one big account? Well, honestly, I don’t trust myself.
Let’s say we have $25,000 in one account. Come Christmastime, what’s to stop me from overspending what’s meant for Christmas and justifying it by seeing how much more money is in the account?
It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if things like that happen all the time (and they will), there goes the new car or so much for staying at the Polynesian Resort.
Do you have your own savings strategy? I’d love to hear about it!